As you get older, you're bound to change in a myriad of ways — and your skin is no different. Once you enter your 20s, your skin loses at least 1% of its collagen each year, making it less elastic. Fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent as you enter your 30s and 40s. By the time you turn 50, your main concern is moisture retention.
Even so, it's never too late to take care of your skin as it ages. This isn't just a matter of aesthetics, either. Poor skin conditions can lead to issues like dry skin, itchiness, age spots, skin tags, or even skin cancer. If you want to keep your skin happy and healthy, look no further. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Maintain a balanced diet
The first step to healthy skin starts from within. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day for that hydrating boost. Eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and proteins to avoid nutritional deficiencies that can aggravate your skin. In particular, Vitamin A-rich foods like eggs and yogurt, and foods that contain beta carotenes like spinach and sweet potatoes can help promote cell turnover and new skin growth. As we've discussed in Choosing the Right Organic Natural Supplement, supplements for iron and Vitamin C can also help protect the skin barrier.
A lack of moisture makes dry skin a common issue among seniors. You can combat this with a skincare routine for dry skin that includes ingredients like glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants that lock in moisture and remove dullness and blotchiness. It's best to apply moisturizing products like creams, lotions, and ointments within 3 minutes of getting out of the bath. Make sure your bathwater isn't too hot either, as this can strip the natural oils from your body. Finally, opt for fragrance-free products. This is because fragrance can irritate your skin.
Protect yourself from the sun
Sun protection is crucial in preventing skin damage and even skin cancer. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day and in all weather. This is because UV rays can penetrate through windows and even clouds. If you're heading outdoors, wear protective clothing like pants, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats. Finally, limit your time out in the sun. Avoid exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM, as this is when UV levels are at their highest. It would also be wise to forego tanning of any sort, such as via sunbathing or tanning bed.
Check your skin constantly
This is especially important given that the risks of developing skin cancer keep climbing as you get older. Once a month, conduct a skin self-exam by yourself or with the help of others. Scan your body starting from your scalp down to your legs. Look for the following warning signs: growths that constantly increase in size or color, spots that are itchy and may even be crusty or bleeding, or open sores that take longer than 3 weeks to heal. Once you spot an anomaly, immediately consult a board-certified dermatologist. Catching skin cancer early can increase your chances of survival to 99%.
As mentioned at the beginning, it's never too late to start taking care of your skin. By keeping your skin happy and healthy, you won't just look and feel great, but significantly contribute to your overall health.